How much fun can you have for $10 these days? Quite a lot if you know where to find it. From exploring the Inside Out exhibition at Melbourne Museum to a crafty cocktail, here’s the lowdown on the loose-change high life.
1. Mid-week margaritas at Hello José, espresso martini happy hour at Melbourne Public and Spritz Sundays at Good Heavens rooftop
You’ll feel sophisticated at op-shop prices with a $10 cocktail in hand. A midweek margarita at merry Mexican joint Hello José on Wednesday or Thursday? Or an espresso martini at Melbourne Public during their extra-long 4-7pm weekday happy hour? Or, if you prefer a rooftop vibe, head to Good Heavens for $10 Spritzes on Sundays. Choose from five different flavours including the classic Aperol spritz, ‘mandarin tart’ (mandarin, Four Pillars rare dry gin, prosecco, soda, lemon), and ‘forbidden fruit’ (St Germain dlderflower, calvados, grenadine and prosecco).
2. Cheap movie nights at Cinema Nova and Kino
Going to the movies is pricey – unless you time it right. On Mondays, tickets are $7 before 4pm and $9 after at Cinema Nova, and $8.50 all day at Kino Cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy millions of dollars in movie-making for peanuts.
3. Free comedy and a cheeky beer
There’s free comedy all over the city in Melbourne. Comedy at Spleen is a Monday night stand-up session where newbies rub shoulders with the big guns. Seriously? Yes, we’re talking Wil Anderson and Eddie Perfect big. Entry is free, though a gold-coin donation is appreciated. Around the corner and also on Monday, is Quick Bites Comedy at Boney. Presenting a line-up of comedians,from throughout Australia and beyond, previous shows have included Aunty Donna, Tom Ballard, Celia Pacquola and every RAW Comedy winner since 2013. On Tuesday nights, head to comedy at the Imperial Hotel, while Crab Lab on Wednesday nights brings together the best comics from TV and radio (plus a bunch of the next big things) at the House of Maximon.
4. Tuesday and Thursday night burlesque and comedy at Speakeasy HQ
Speakeasy HQ knows you don’t have to splash a lot of cash for a good time. Their Tuesday and Thursday nights Burlesque and Comedy sessions also features jazz, circus and sideshow acts: four hours of vaudeville-style entertainment for just $9. With happy hour drink specials and their tasty house nachos, it’s worth staying out on a school night.
5. $6 pizzas at El Coco and Bangkok Noodle soups at Soi 38
Named after the palm tree planted in the first Bacardi distillery in Cuba in 1862, El Coco is a colourful bar with a reasonably priced, Cuban-inspired menu and great cocktails. You’ll find arancini and popcorn chicken for $9 but, best of all, the pizzas are $6 all day, every day. Anyone for the lamb pizza, topped with potato, caramelised onion, sour cream and tender lamb shoulder? Or, if Thai is more your thing, head to Soi 38 to try one of their delicious Bangkok noodle soups for $10. Their location is also a talking point – they’re hidden away in the ground floor of a carpark.
6. Swim at Melbourne City Baths
After all that indulgence you may need a little healthy living, but that doesn’t have to mean pricey personal training or wellness retreats. Swim at the beautiful heritage Melbourne City Baths for less than $7, and let the day’s stresses melt away.
7. Visit the new Inside Out exhibition at Melbourne Museum
There’s more multi-sensory wonders at Melbourne Museum’s Inside Out exhibition, which presents 370 special objects in surprising ways. Theatrical and immersive, this audio-aesthetic adventure plays with themes of love, time and immortality. Bring your curiosity! Entry is $10.
8. Beer paddle at Hophaus
If you’re more of a beer kind of guy or gal, the tasting paddle at Hophaus is always $10. Choose four beers from the nine on tap and ponder a trip to Bavaria.
9. Coffee Cupping at Seven Seeds
In a coffee mood? One of Melbourne’s pedigree coffee roasters and retailers, Seven Seeds offers cupping sessions on Tuesday mornings for a $4 donation. Women for Women in Africa get the cash, and you learn about and appreciate several premium coffees’ body, sweetness, acidity and flavour.
10. Free Friday movies at Park Cinema
Bring your screen-loving posse to Park Cinema at Buluk Park. Free Friday screenings include classics such as The Karate Kid and Strictly Ballroom. There’s an UberEats drop-off point at this family-friendly event, and Saluministi‘s Italian-inspired picnic nibbles are also nearby.
Looking for more?
All-you-can-eat Indian at Om Vegetarian
Love Indian? Om Vegetarian offer delicious, healthy and super-filling, all-you-can-eat vegetarian meals for $6.50. Enjoy an Indian feast of vegetarian curries, dhal, rice and naan bread. There’s also a vegan option available upon request. Om has four locations including Capitol Arcade, Collins Street, Elizabeth Street and Spencer Street, West Melbourne.
Buy your own Mariachi from Viva La Cavalera
A regular at the Queen Victoria Market, Viva La Cavalera have a passion for all things Mexican. Browse their colourful array of sugar skulls, Mexican folk art and Day of the Dead art on your next trip to The Night Market and then take home your own mariachi for $10.